A cloudless sky was the forecast for the day, and so it proved to be. It was already bright and brassy driving over the Lammermuirs between Gifford and Longformacus. I stopped above the Whiteadder Reservoir to take some shots of the wildlife, including curlews, lapwings and meadow pipits. I could hear the red grouse, but didn’t get a shot of them. I heard that I missed black grouse as well. However, I had got a few shots of them a month or so ago, the other side of the A68.
Fishing prospects-wise, the unrelenting sun was tempered by a light and variable wind – though the variable bit was a PITA at times. I thought the sun might be the trigger for some terrestrials being blown off the land and, as it was glassy calm at the start, I went with dries – a black half-hog and an Adams hopper, both 12s. There were a few fish to be seen rising in the calm, too, which was generally encouraging. Boat partner, Davy Syme started on a washing line. We started in the far dam corner, where the head of what little wind there was would bring any fly life over.
It didn’t take Davy long to hook the first fish of the day – on a Diawl Bach. Apart from a perch, that was our only fish of the day not taken on dry fly. Not long after, I got a cover on a fish that took the half-hog. And a short time later, another cover and a fish on the hopper. The next two covers also resulted in fish hooked, though both fell off. But the next was landed. Five covers and five fish hooked! That was enough for Davy to change from washing line to dries, and he was soon into the action. We were seeing a bit of fly life, including various beetles and stone flies. There were alders as well, and I switched the hopper for a chocolate sedgehog. It was no sooner on than it picked up 3 fish on the trot! I gave Davy one and he caught the next fish on it. Then it was Davy’s turn to find a star performer – a chunky brown ethafoam beetle. It started catching fish and Davy gave me one to try. All I could get to it was swirls.
At the start, 2 or 3 other boats were also fishing the dam area, but they all moved away, presumably because they were not catching? It was great having the whole area to ourselves for the next few hours. Unfortunately, the other boats all returned in the afternoon and started fishing our water!
As the afternoon wore on, the breeze got up a bit and the sun was unrelenting. It gradually made the fish less and less inclined to rise, and our catch rate diminished. However, we had a great day’s sport, with 16 to the boat… and a perch!
The club’s 12 rods landed 52 trout.